I’ve Been There And Back


 

 

 

 

Lost in thought – and other places.

I recently read a post from a young Canadian female, about making a wrong turn at night, and driving into the United States.  She said that she had submitted the tale as a Creative Writing essay, and had received an ‘A’ for it.  I expected a teen-ish high schooler, or a college student.  While not bad, I mentally edited it for a few word-usage, spelling and punctuation errors.

She wrote that, as the driver, she and her boyfriend went out for a late-night McDonalds run.  They followed the border, and mistakenly turned south, into the US.  This could happen almost anywhere along the border, but I suspected British Columbia.  Then the story said that she inadvertently took the up-ramp to the bridge in Windsor, and wound up in Detroit.  But the bridge to Detroit doesn’t go ‘South.’  It faces North-West.

She managed to find the entrance to the tunnel to return to Canada, to the north(?), but it was closed for maintenance.  After some more driving and searching, she managed to get back on the bridge.  The Industrially-Polite Canadian Border guard listened to their story, and let them back in without passports.  The McDonalds was now directly in front of them, but they’d spent their burger-bucks on two bridge tolls.

When I viewed the post, I did so, on the WordPress reader.  When I commented, it took me to her actual site.  There I was met with a photo of a partially-clad, full-figured young female, and claims that she was a model, an actress, and an author (?), with 20,000 Facebook followers.  A sort of Canadian-Lite equivalent to the Kardashians – famous for being famous.

I can’t fault her for her little mishap.  Something very similar occurred to us.  Back before 9/11 and passports, the wife and I spent a weekend in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  After checking in Friday night, and eating dinner, we drove on down to the end of the big highway to Fort Erie, ON, and began looking for the terminus of the romantic Riverside Drive, which would take us back to our hotel.

Somehow, a wrong turn in the darkness took us into the one-way driveway to the Duty Free shop.  There is no bridge toll from Canada to the States – nowhere to stop – nowhere to turn around.  With no other exits, we were soon in Buffalo – almost.

As soon as I got off the bridge, I immediately slowed and pulled onto the road shoulder on the fast side.  I carefully dodged a few orange, nylon traffic cones, drove across the paved median, and butted into the line of Canada-bound cars.  There is a bridge toll to cross from the US to Canada, so I was soon confronted by an American Border guard.

I carefully explained what had just happened, and said that I just wanted to get back.  They might as well have robots doing the job.  Do not distract a public servant from his well-rehearsed spiel.  I had just related what had occurred.
“How long have you been in the United States?”
“Uh, going on ninety seconds now.”
“Did you purchase anything while you were in the country?”
(What…. from the trunk of your car, parked over there?)  “No!”
“Very well, away you go then.”

I was happy to pay a(n American) dollar to return to the land of socialized medicine.  We postponed any moonlight trips up the Riverside Drive, until we were sure that we’d found it in the daylight.  Over the years, we have been a number of places that we did not intend to be, but that was the only time that it was in a foreign country.  I’m back, and ain’tcha glad??!  😉

13 thoughts on “I’ve Been There And Back

  1. Lol, your story gives me an idea on a futuristic story where everything is manned by robots, and no matter what you do, you’ll have to jump through bureaucratic hoops just to fix a tiny mishap.

    Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rivergirl says:

    My husband once pulled a U turn on the George Washington Bridge…. does that count?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Archon's Den says:

      With the high volume of traffic, that seems like a suicide attempt, and I expected concrete barricades to prevent such an act. I can only envision a late-night maneuver to prevent going into New Jersey. 😉 😆

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rivergirl says:

        Hey now, that’s my birthplace you’re talkin’ about!

        Like

      • Archon's Den says:

        You’re right! I should not jest. Chris Christie aside, it’s a beautiful State. (Did you have to turn back, because he’d shut down the Jersey end – again?) Like Canada’s Newfoundland Province, it suffers as the butt of a lot of unwarranted jokes.
        It marks the easternmost border of the 13 States that I’ve visited, from Sault Ste. Marie, to Key West – Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. I even drove past Trump’s summer house in DC.

        I’m still intrigued that your hubby managed to accomplish something that traffic engineers work hard to prevent. 🌯 😎

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rivergirl says:

        My husband is a strangely talented man. I’d like to tell you I remember how he did it…. but all I was remember was screaming NOOOO! and closing my eyes.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We should have charged you twenty American dollars instead. Great story!

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      I could be a smartass, and say that it would be well worth it, but we have enjoyed our trips into ‘The States.’ We have seen and done many enjoyable things. I remember with particular fondness, the week-long generosity offered by my blog-buddy over in Burke, VA, who paved his backyard with melted beer cans. https://archonsden.wordpress.com/2018/10/17/vulcan-at-the-forge/

      Liked by 1 person

      • And I enjoyed my visit to Canada, and I am a big fan of Canadian culture too. I would like to return one day. As an amateur comedy writer, I couldn’t resist that joke though.

        Like

      • Archon's Den says:

        Where did you visit? Toronto?
        I don’t write jokes. There are enough lying around that I only need collect them. Joke away. I have kidded about laughing with me, not at me, but I will accept almost any jest. About five years ago, when I was 70, and going seriously white, with a white beard, beer-can BrainRants worried about comparing me to Santa. Satirise (or is it Satyrize?) away. 😉 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t remember the exact location, but my dad was from Lincoln, Maine, so it wasn’t too far a drive to your country.

        Like

      • Archon's Den says:

        I assumed that you’d visited Canada as an adult. Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver would have been the most likely. Lincoln is just an hour drive to the border with the Province of New Brunswick, know as the nicest, kindest, in Canada. It’s another hour to the city of Fredericton. Nearby is the small town of Southampton, which is the name of my hometown in Ontario.
        Lincoln is 150 miles further north of where I live now, and about 750 miles east. My frequent commenter, River Girl lives not far away, on the coast. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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